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Friday, November 8, 2019

AM Northwest talks 20 years of Oregon casting with Lana Veenker

by admin

On November 7th, Lana dropped in on AM Northwest to chat with Helen Raptis about Cast Iron Studios’ recent anniversary.

As reported by KATU:

Portland’s own Lana Veenker is celebrating 20 years as a casting director! In that time, she’s made a name for herself both here and abroad — having just returned from the Rome Film Festival where she rubbed elbows with Italian film royalty. Lana joined us to look back at the last 20 years of film and TV productions in Oregon. For more information about Lana Veenker, check her out on IMDb.


 

Many thanks to the team at AM Northwest for helping us celebrate this milestone! We’re so grateful for our community.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Casting Director Lana Veenker on jury at Rome Film Festival

by admin

Plans to celebrate a milestone anniversary for Cast Iron Studios were postponed after the company’s founder, Casting Director Lana Veenker, was invited to serve on the jury of the Rome Film Festival’s Alice Nella Città program on October 26th, 2019.

“Spending my 20th anniversary in casting as a jurist at the Rome Film Festival was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Veenker. The other jurists included Talent Agent Frédérique Moidon (France), Cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (Canada), and Producer Uliana Kovaleva (Russia).

Lana Veenker at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.

Veenker, who spent about a decade overseas before founding Cast Iron Studios in 1999, has always incorporated her love for travel and languages with her vocation in the entertainment industry. She studied theatre in Paris and Cambridge, and performed on stages in four countries and three languages prior to landing a job in a London casting office in the late 90s. She has lectured in more than 20 countries, and in 2008, was one of the sole Americans to have been inducted into the International Casting Directors Network (headquartered in Berlin), where she currently serves on its first official board of directors.

On October 26th (the date of Cast Iron Studios’ first casting session 20 years prior), Veenker was on stage again, this time in Rome to present the DO Cine Rising Talent Award for Best Young Performer (International Panorama), which was awarded to Belgium’s Anna Franziska Jäger for her performance in Cleo. Other award presenters included Carlo Verdone, one of Italy’s most renowned actors, and Screenwriter Nicola Guaglianone.

Casting Director Lana Veenker presents the Alice Nellà Citta DO Cine Rising Talent Award (International Panorama) at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019. Photo Credit: Carlo Verdone.

 

Following a photo call and interviews with the Italian press, Veenker held a master class and Q&A moderated by Italy’s first lady of cinema, Mrs. Piera Detassis, President of the Italian Film Academy (David di Donnatello Awards; the Italian Oscars), with the participation of Actor Lorenzo Richelmy, star of Netflix’s Marco Polo.

Master Class with Lana Veenker at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.

 

Piera Detassis, Lana Veenker and Lorenzo Richelmy at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.

 

The day ended with a celebration dinner with Italy’s top casting directors and fellow ICDN members, Beatrice Kruger, Francesco Vedovati, Lilia Trapani Hartmann and Barbara Giordani.

“It was a whirlwind weekend, with an incredibly warm welcome from everyone at the Rome Film Festival, especially Talent Agent Daniele Orazi and Producer Carla Mori,” said Veenker. “Once they learned about my 20th anniversary, they rolled out the red carpet to make it an unforgettable experience.”

While Cast Iron Studios’ anniversary celebration back home has been postponed to a yet-unknown date, the weekend’s events in Rome represented a full circle for Veenker.

“I began my career with the dream of working internationally, and have somehow realized that goal, even while remaining based in Portland. It felt like an affirmation of more than two decades of hard work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to listen to one of Lana’s interviews in Rome:


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

KATU & KGW: Oregon is abuzz with film and TV production

by admin

With series and features such as Trinkets, Stumptown, Pig, and Sorta Like a Rockstar currently underway, Oregon is abuzz with film and television production this fall.

KGW’s Keely Chalmers and KATU’s Lincoln Graves recently dropped in on Casting Director Lana Veenker to get the inside scoop on what it means for Oregon actors and crew.

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

AM Northwest Oregon Film & TV Update, Summer 2018

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

Despite the productions of “Grimm,” “Portlandia” and “The Librarians” all coming to an end, show business is still booming in Oregon right now!

Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by KATU’s AM Northwest on August 27, 2018 with a film and TV update.

Here’s the clip, in case you missed it:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Portland teens audition for American Vandal

by admin

In case you missed it, here’s KPTV interviewing Casting Director Eryn Goodman about our January 5th, 2018 casting call for American Vandal.

Keep an eye out on our blog and our social media accounts for news about any further auditions. You’ll be the first to know if we have any!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Oregon Film Industry in the News

by Georgia Luke

Lana Veenker and Oregon Film Commissioner Tim Williams recently sat down with Mary Loos from KATU to talk about Oregon’s growing film industry. Grimm and Portlandia have ended, but their success, along with Oregon’s reputation and film incentive, make the possibility of higher quality productions in the future probable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to Get Your Child into Show Business

by Georgia Luke

Lana got to join Tra’Renee Chambers on KATU’s new show Afternoon Live on September 20th to talk about how to get your child into show business.

Lana was able to give some great tips on the best way to go about it, and warning signs to look for with possible scams.

Here’s her full list of tips for parents whose children want to get into acting:

FIRST STEPS

  • Make sure it’s something THEY want to do
    • Is it your dream or theirs?
    • Don’t make them do it if it’s not fun for them
  • Network & do your research
    • Look for Facebook groups geared towards local actors, acting classes, indie filmmaking and casting calls
    • In Portland, join the longstanding Yahoo Group PDXBackstage
    • Talk to other actors who are working professionally and to their parents: learn from their experiences
    • Google any schools, coaches, casting companies or talent agencies you are considering and read the online reviews
  • Beware of scams
    • Don’t fall for the bait-and-switch:
      • You take your child to an audition, but it turns out to be a sales pitch for classes or talent competitions
      • Your child is approached in a mall by a so-called “talent scout” who promises to make them famous, only to try to sell you something later on
    • Avoid talent agencies that want money up front
      • Agents should only earn commissions off the work they find for their actors
      • Other than nominal website maintenance fees, agents should never charge actors for representation
    • Avoid any casting calls or auditions that require your child to pay to be seen; there should never be a charge to audition
    • Don’t join any paid casting websites, unless you know for sure that the casting directors in your area use them. Most are a waste of money
    • (We use Casting Frontier, where basic profiles are free. See our Submissions page for instructions on how to get into our database if you don’t have an agent)
  • Get GOOD training
    • Make sure your child learns good habits, so they don’t have to unlearn bad ones
    • In Portland, Northwest Children’s Theatre and Oregon Children’s Theatre offer good stage acting classes for kids
    • There are also several on-camera acting coaches in town; do your research and audit a class, if possible
  • Get experience
    • Do theatre, school plays
    • Let them make their own projects for practice: most kids are savvy with cameras and editing software
    • Have them do extras work to make sure they can handle standing around on set for hours
    • Find casting calls on Facebook or other websites (but research, be cautious)
    • Follow us on Facebook & Twitter or join our mailing list to be notified about open casting calls
    • Read up on how to participate in our periodic general auditions
  • Get Headshots
    • Don’t spend a lot on headshots for kids; especially before you find them an agent and know what they need
    • Snapshots will do until you find an agent who can guide you to a good headshot photographer
    • Headshots should cost a few hundred dollars, not thousands
  • Create an acting resume
    • Search online for examples
    • Include date of birth, height, weight, eye and hair color
    • Include acting experience, training, and any special skills they may have, like skateboarding, ballet and/or languages
    • Include your contact information (cell number, email address)
    • Never include your home address, the child’s direct contact info or their Social Security number
  • Find a GOOD talent agent
    • Look on the SAG-AFTRA website for SAG and AFTRA franchised agencies
    • SourceOregon also has a list of trustworthy agencies and managers
    • Remember: You should not have to pay a talent agent for representation, classes or photos. They may, however, recommend trusted coaches, classes or photographers who are unaffiliated with the agency
  • Celebrate small successes
    • Even auditioning is a success; don’t focus on bookings
    • Do they feel good about how they auditioned? Celebrate that!
    • However they feel, celebrate their bravery and accomplishment. Auditioning is hard!
    • Do something fun afterwards
  • Be a good actor parent
    • Always be reachable
    • Respond very quickly to emails and calls
    • Be an advocate for your child, but be easy to work with
    • We’re not just hiring your kid, we are hiring you!
    • Nobody wants someone on set who will create problems or drama

Good luck, be safe and have fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cast Iron Studios Offices Damaged by Fire

by Georgia Luke

As some of you may have heard, our offices were damaged by a fire on Saturday, August 27th. Luckily, no one was injured, and the fire, which started on the roof, did not reach our floor. The smoke and water damage to our space, however, made it impossible to use and left us scrambling for an alternative. KATU covered the story:

Thankfully, we have been able to keep to our schedule by renting out space from nearby businesses. As we wade through waterlogged files, bag up garbage that used to be office supplies, and work out where to recycle the soaked electronics, we are staying positive, knowing that it could have been much worse.

We are grateful for the outpouring of support and offers of help that we received from our community through social media, phone calls and emails.

Meanwhile, the show must go on! Casting continues at a lively pace as we head into fall, and we’re grateful for that as well.

 

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Grimm team supports the upcoming 2016 OHS Doggie Dash!

by Georgia Luke

Lana and her puppy Justin represented the Grimm Loves Pets Team last night on KGW’s Live at 7 to help spread the word about the 29th Annual Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash, happening on May 14th!

They’d love for you to contribute to their fundraiser, or join the Grimm Loves Pets Team yourself!

Won’t you help Justin raise $10K to help other rescue puppies, like himself?

How can you say no to that face?!

Justin thanks you in advance.

Link to original post.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lana Returns to AM Northwest with a Film & TV Update

by Georgia Luke

Thanks to TV shows like “The Librarians” and “Portlandia,” show business is booming in Oregon. Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by AM Northwest on March 30th to talk to Helen Raptis about what types of productions could be coming to the state soon.

Link to original post

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

More Good Day Oregon: Our Film Bill Passes!

by Georgia Luke

Stephanie Kralevich of More Good Day Oregon recently covered the passage of SB 1507, which included an increase to the Oregon Production Investment Fund! Many thanks to all the legislators who voted in favor of this jobs-creating bill, and to all the volunteers who helped make it happen.

Link to original post.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

KPTV covers Talent Diversity Initiative Graduation at Cast Iron Studios

by ranielle

On Saturday, November 21st, the 32 actors from our Class of 2015 Talent Diversity Initiative graduated at Cast Iron Studios.

The fun-filled day featured mock auditions, a Q&A with the team at CIS, and guest speakers Mary McDonald-Lewis (dialect coach), Kendall Wells (fight choreographer and instructor), and Grimm Executive Producer Norberto Barba.

The celebration ended with a press reception, with guests including Mayor and First Lady Hales, Representative Lew Frederick, Portland Development Commission’s Brian Lord, Portland City Council candidate Fred Stewart and many others.

We had a blast producing this Initiative, along with our partners at TNT, Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios. Here’s to making it a yearly event!
KPTV – FOX 12

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lana Talks to More Good Day Oregon About Breaking Into the Biz

by ranielle

ICYMI: On Tuesday, August 11th, Casting Director Lana Veenker spoke with Stephanie Kralevich of More Good Day Oregon about what’s shooting in Oregon and how you can get involved!

Have a peek:

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 2.20.25 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information on how actors can submit to us or be seen for a general audition is under our Actors tab. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to original post.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Lana talks to AM Northwest about Oregon film & video

by admin

When TV and film productions come to town, job openings come too!  Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by AM Northwest on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, to fill us in on what’s going on now, and possible job opportunities too!

Link to original post.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

AM Northwest: Local Actors in the Movie, ‘Wild’

by admin

In case you missed the segment on AM Northwest this morning, here it is!

“It’s a movie based on the best-selling book by local author Cheryl Strayed.  Wild is playing now in Portland and we were happy to be joined by two local actors who played memorable parts, Jan Hoag and Will Cuddy, along with Casting Director Lana Veenker.”